Seth Rogen and long time writing partner, Evan Goldberg are out to tickle your funny bone before you settle in for Man Of Steel with their directorial debut. In all that could be obviously good about an end of the world movie where the actors play themselves, there is much that could go wrong. However This Is The End delivers laughs whole-heartedly and without shame. The humor is much in the same vein as the other movies starring Judd Apatow’s brat pack. There are dick jokes galore, lots of drug use and nerd pretension. This is not a bad thing. Many a great comedy has been built on less.
The basic premise of the movie is that a group of Hollywood actors are trapped at James Franco’s house when the Biblical Apocalypse occurs, featuring an impossibly funny ensemble that includes James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride. There are a list of cameos a mile long including Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Rihanna, on and on. The main party scene was truly meant to feel like a compilation of real Hollywood parties.
From scene one I tried hard not to pee my pants laughing. The comedy and timing are perfect. I was never waiting for the next joke. There was everything from James Franco and Danny McBride having a “jerk-off” to Michael Cera feeding a juice box to two groupies trying to blow him. Jonah Hill becomes possessed, James Franco explores a finer love for Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson drinks his own pee, and likes it. This movie has it all.
Filmed in somewhat of a gorilla style, which incorporated video confessions, not-so-steady-cam shots and scenes that had the intimate feeling of “we only had the budget to shoot in this one house”, the jokes are dirty, drug related and rip hard on Hollywood and the actors themselves. We all saw the “Green Hornet” clip in the trailer but James Franco gets jeered for his artwork, Jonah Hill for his dick-ish insincerity and much more. While the actors are certainly playing a version of themselves, you can easily imagine that all of the jokes hold some kernel of truth. Rogen freely admits that Danny McBride and Michael Cera’s portrayals are the furthest from the truth and it is not a bad thing. There had to be a villain in the piece and McBride is it, pulling his best Kenny Powers for the occasion.
I won’t give away too many of the jokes, but if you’re not laughing by the time Jay and Seth are arguing about gluten, just leave the theater. I haven’t seen a comedy this good in a very long while. So split your box office dollar this weekend and splurge. See Man of Steel and This Is The End. You’ll be glad you did.
9 hopeless stoners out of 10